tv Armed Forces Bid Farewell to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter CSPAN January 10, 2017 1:44am-2:41am EST
armed forces farewell tribute honoring the honorable ashley v. carter, secretary of defense. ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the arrival of the official army and remain standing as arms are rendered. take their positions where they stand, the honorable ashley v. carter, secretary of defense. also for today's tribute general f. dun kirk jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. >> present. >> present. >> arms. ♪
carter steadfast leadership strengthened the joint force while working through the department's most challenging constraints. during an intense period of change in the global security environment secretary carter works tirelessly to steward a ready and adaptable joint force focused on today's transrecentlial threats time ul tainio simultaneous. his deep dedication to the men and women of the joint force and their families and attention to their daily sacrifices set an example of reinforcing military and civilian personnel. the singularly distinctive accomplishments of secretary carter reflect the highest credit upon himself, the department of defense, and the united states of america. signed joseph f. dunford jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
the distinguished public service award is presented to mrs. stephanie d. carter, for distinguished public service to the department of defense in a succession of voluntary initiatives to the servicemembers and families of the united states armed forces. from february of 2015 to january 2017. during this period, mrs. carter displayed an unwavering commitment to the men and women of the joint force and their family members. persons see a personal involvement in their welfare and entire advocacy for improving their quality of life made an important and lasting impact across the military community. an exceptional ambassador of goodwill, mrs. carter made numerous visits to walter reed, dover air force base and installations across the department to engage and support military families.
her visits both stateside and overseas combined with her dedicated support of personnel transitioning from military to civilian life reinforced the values cherished most within the department of defense. the distinctive accomplishments of mrs. carter reflect great credit upon herself, the joint staff, the department of defense, and our nation, signed joseph f. dunford, jr., chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. [ applause ]
ladies and gentlemen, general dunford. >> distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us as we pay tribute to our 25th secretary of defense. in particular, i want to welcome secretary carter's family, his wife, stephanie, his daughter, ava, his son, will, and stephanie's mom, mrs. virginia manuel. i also want to recognize congre congre congresswoman speier and harmon, attorney general link, secretary's pritzer, johnson, contreras, sweet and secretary berry and last but not least our
deputy secretary, mr. bob ork. i'd like to thank the other senior leaders across the department oir service secretary, service chiefs the combatant commanders and senior enlisted leaders and others that are here. your presence speaks volumes about the man we're here to honor. ladies and gentlemen you expect me to say it, it is an honor represent our soldier, sailors and marines as we recognize ash carter's contributions as our secretary in his nearly four decades. public service. it would be impossible to do justice had-to-his career in a few minutes it's not hard to capture the capabilities that have made him as a man with keen intelle intellect, i've never served with someone to identify the key elts of complex issues. he's a visionary, while most of
us struggle to tackle today's challenge he's someone you look around the corner and see where the department needed to be in the future. he has an extraordinary work ethic in every position he's held he set the pace and i will tell you from personal experiences' fast. he was never driven by process or protocol. his impatience with red tape is legendary. he's known for getting things done, and demanding the same of others. perhaps most importantly, despite his passion for accomplishing a mission, he's a compassionate leader who streins in people and never forgotten they are the most valuable resource. most importantly ash carter is a leader. i've heard those qualities evidenced since early days in program analysis and evaluation and as time as the assistant secretary for international security policy. i've seen them myself during his time as the undersecretary for
acquisition, technology and logistics as the deputy secretary and most recently as our secretary. i'll share a few examples that highlight the significance of secretary carter's contributions. in 2000 the he initiated the war fighter senior integration group known as the sig. it was a new organization that integrated the department and cut through the bureaucratic processes and delivered urgent capabilities and resources to the war fighter when and where they were needed. many of us who were gathered here saw the impact of that initiative as commanders, with one phone call from baghdad or kabul, we could get immediate results in solving problems to save lives and enable battlefield success. i believe it's fair to say that no leader at the strategic level played a more significant role than secretary carter in fielding the vehicles and equipment that have assisted our troops in meeting the challenge of improvised explosive devices in iraq and afghanistan.
mr. secretary, it would be hard to overstate the impact of your actions in saving lives and limbs. lot of soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines came home because you cared, and because you decisively engaged. as our deputy secretary carter spear-headed the defense technology and trade initiative, a bilateral relationship with india that invigorated technological cooperation and collaboration between our countries. it was bold. it was innovative, and it was about getting things done, and it was all just another day's work for ash carter. perhaps nowhere have secretary carter's qualities as a leader been more evident than in a fight against isil, al qaeda, and associated groups. he's been instrumental in building a 67-member coalition and implementing a military campaign that is significantly reduced isil-held territory, degralded isil's capabilities, limited its freedom of movement,
reduced its resources and stem the flow of foreign fighters in the region. with his energy, commitment and impatience, he also mobilized action across the u.s. government to put isil on a path to defeat. secretary carter's been a key leader in our nation's rebalance to the asia-pacific region. on his watch, the u.s. military continued to adopt a posture that supports expanded engagement and enhances our responsiveness within the pacific command. despite focusing on his clearly articulated priorities he also tirelessly traveled throughout all of our regional commands, coordinating and collaborating with our partners and allies and along the way building strong, meaningful and lasting relationships across the globe. and thanks to his vision, we're better postured to meet tomorrow's challenges. he's been a fierce advocate for innovation and for modernizing our nuclear cyber and space capabilities. he's never taken our competitive
advantage for granted. and he worked tirelessly to bridge the gaps between defense and the private sector. we've been lucky to have a leader that makes us in his own words think outside the five-sided box. despite the diverse and demanding responsibilities as secretary, he never lost sight as i mentioned earlier of our most valuable resource, our people. his commitment to our troops was evident in his quiet weekend visits with our wounded. he and stephanie were known to the hospital staff and the wounded warrior families as regulars. one of our leesaysons at the hospital recalls the staff was always tapping their watches because he stayed too long. he was always comfortable sitting down, looking them in the eye and connecting with the wounded and their families. he never rushed a visit. we also saw the focus on people in his force to the future initiatives which were designed to improve the quality of life in professional development of those currently serving, while making sure we're postured to recruit and retain the force the
department will need tomorrow. finally, secretary carter has never forgotten our solemn responsibility to remember the fallen. his one gold star spouse recalls his first act as the secretary, was to go to arlington section 60 in the snow with stephanie to visit private first class chris horton, and the others we lost in iraq and afghanistan. the carters have been back many times. the visits to articleton highlight secretary carter wouldn't be the leader he is without incredible support at home and you can't talk to him for more than five minutes without talking about his family, and that starts with his wife, stephanie. stephanie, we're grateful for your support. secretary carter always refers to you as his perfect wife, and i know that he means that. you balanced your own career with passionate support for our men and women in uniform and their family, and you have made a difference. after a recent visit by you and the secretary through afghanistan where you met with a
unit that had lost soldiers in a suicide attack, this is what the commander wrote. "mr. secretary, this puts in perspective where you fall in the chain of command. "as much as i pressure the engagement i had with secretary carter, it pales in comparison to the hug i received from mrs. carter." so soldiers don't think about how much of a hug will do. when steph walked toward me with open arms i forgot i was in afghanistan, far away from the people i love. i forgot about being a commander for one minute, and i felt like a person again. it was really special, and something i'll never forget." stephanie, on behalf of all those you touched along the way and those you have hugged, everyone joins me in saying thanks. you'll be missed. [ applause ] ava and will, i know your dad's
work in the service of his country has meant time away from you, so thank you for your sacrifice and thanks for sharing your dad with the nation. i know you're as proud of him as he is of you. let me close by saying when someone retires in the naval service refer to it as going over the side. secretary carter, as you go over the side, you have what every leader would want to have. you have the absolute admiration, appreciation and yes, the affection of those with whom you've served. and that certainly includes joe dunford and all the other assembled senior leaders that are here today. and you should also have the satisfaction that comes with making a profound difference in the department for the nation, and in the lives of legion of men and women who are proud to say that they're carter trained. mr. secretary, in the end, you know what winning looks like. thank you, sir. we've been proud to follow you. [ applause ]
>> good afternoon, everyone. thank you for being here. thank you, chairman dunford, for those kind remarks and to you and the joint teefz of staff for the recognition. my time as secretary of defense is growing short, and people are beginning to ask me the question what's the best decision you've made as secretary of defense? and i say without hesitation it's joe dunford. recommending general dunford to the president to become chairman of the joint chiefs of staff is my best decision. from him i've benefited from the soundest and most candid and always trustworthy professional military vice and he's made sure i got the same from the joint chiefs of staff and the combatant commanders and joe
doesn't just offer advice and observations, but solutions, whole and rounded out. that's very rare, very valuable. for all of that, for your friendship, thank you, joe. i have imposed upon ellen dunford also and besides expressing my gratitude to her i want to recognize all she does to ensure the well-being of our troops and their families. thank you, too, ellen. now last week i spoke with president obama, and of his leadership and accomplishments as commander in chief in this hall. now i want to add my deep gratitude for the trust and the confidence he reposed in me in three different positions over eight years. my precious, yes perfect wife, stephanie, is here, as are my wonderful children, who have become impressive, accomplished adults in the years i've been
here. stephanie has her own big job and can't travel with me often. when she does i'm struck by the effect she has on our troops and spouse. our all volunteer forces is largely a married force, a family force, and it matters to troops on far flung bases around the world when our family shows our love for their family. angel, i'd not only be lesser of a secretary of defense without you, i wouldn't even be secretary of defense without you, and i truly wouldn't be who i am without you. those 35 years ago this year that i first walked the halls of the pentagon, in those decades i worked at administrations of both parties and for 11 secretaries of defense, and i suppose that makes me the 12th i've worked for. back then, the start of my dod
career, the cold war was at its peak, and i worked on the issues of the time -- missile defenses, the so-called star wars, basing modes for a new intercontinental ballistic missile, nuclear command and control, continuity of government and more. and when the cold war ended the agenda changed. i ran the program to remove and dismantle former soviet nuclear weapons, and what would be recognized now as the early days of a greater focus on counterterrorism. then in 2009, i became undersecretary defense for acquisition technology and logistics, working on improving their performance of our acquisition programs and on rapid support for the war fight er -- and then secretary of defense. through it all, i've learned how important it is for defense
leaders to be mindful of the arc of history and the inheritance they received from those who came before them. therefore, in addition to setting forth for the president along with general dunford the strategic path we need to traverse to meet each of the five challenges, we face today, from north korea, iran, russia china and terrorism especially isil. there's a whole other side to being secretary of defense to make sure your successor and your successor's successor also has the finest fighting force the world has ever known in the future. i' i've tried to the best of my ability as secretary and indeed in each of my roles in the department to meet that sacred commitment. as we planned for the years aheaded we needed to face the fact we've never foreseen the strategic future perfectly. with the major changes in the
world around me illustrates and in a rapidly changing uncertain and fiercely competitive world, remaining the best would require the best of technology, agility, full spec trough readiness, innovative war plans and above all recruiting, retaining and developing the people uniformed and civilian who will comprise the force of the future. one of the things that makes me proudest about the department of defense is its ability to adapt and change. and i am confident in the logic and good sense of what our leadership is doing best, to keep us the best. and last i want to say something about the troops, and troop talks i always tell them that they are what stephanie and i wake up for every morning. i'm so proud of them, so proud to be their leader. i tell them they're doing the noblist thing a young person can do with their life, which is to provide security for our people.
only with that precious security can our fellow citizens wake up in the morning, get ready for work, hug their kids, dream their dreams, live lives that are full. earlier this year, i was visiting basic training and i went into the bunking area for some brand new recruits. each stood rigidly in front of his bunk at attention. it wasn't obvious they knew who i was or even what the secretary of defense was, but they looked terrified just the same. as always, i went up to one of them and i said why'd you join us? he was 18 years old, a little stubble of a mustache, alarmed eyes, and without his taegs i satisfied "my parents came here when i was 3 and they always told me america gave us much and i should give back." then he started to cry right there in front of 50 bunkmates. and i'm sure he got a lot of ribbing for that, but that's an
example of the kind of kid we get, and also the kind of servicemember we might want to keep. little later long in my careers retention is the issue, most of our ncos and officers are married, so lunch with them and their spouse is a good way to get a sense of them, and what it will take in their lives to make the best ones stay. our military's deservedly well regarded in this country so these young people have options, and at this point in their lives, both mission and family are usually important to them. so to keep these people we do what we can to make military life compatible with military life, consistent with our military necessity. those troops and dod civilians almost 3 million of them in every time zone of the globe represented by those here before you in this hall are what makes
america's the finest fighting force the world has ever known. eve everywhere i go in the world leaders like working with america's troops. not because they're awesomely capable but also because of how they conduct themselves and the values they embody. that's why the united states has so many friends and allies than our antagonists have so few or none at all. because of them, because of them, america's future is bright. may they always be giuided by o love of their countrymen and by civility and decency in a whole country equal to theirs. may god bless them and may god bless this department and this country. thank you and farewell. [ applause ]
♪ >> i think ash has always kept the troops in the forefront of his mind. when he was head of undersecretary for acquisition technology and logistics, he really was my point person on not just the mrap program but kind of all of the different programs to try and get material and equipment to the troops in a timely way.
>> courageous men and women throughout american history have answered the call to serve, and just as they committed themselves to this country, so this country will never tire and never rest until each and every one of them is returned home. >> when i first heard that secretary carter was going to be promoted to secretary of defense, i thought it's a great day for the country and also it's a great day for him because he's really spent his whole life preparing for this job. probably he was better prepared for it better than any other secretary that i know of, including myself. >> there's one other quality of ash's service that i think often gets overlooked and that is his true regard, his love for the men and women in uniform and their families. >> i, ashton v. carter. >> i, ashton v. cart per.
>> do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> when secretary carter came in, he said "bob, i've done your job. i'm not going to do your job. i want to you do your job." he allowed me to perform my duties as a deputy and he was as good as his word. >> thanks to our global coalition, our clear and deliberate military campaign plan, our dedicated local partner forces, the hard work and sacrifices of our country's military personnel, we now have the momentum in this fight and clear results on the ground. >> he really took a campaign that was moving in one direction and focused it and today i believe people will look back and say this is the way you do it, and this is the type of leadership we need.
>> we have that force today because of our people. it's my job as secretary of defense to build whey called the force of the future. >> i solemnly swear or affirm -- >> under the force of the future, we'll now have something that is portable so they don't walk out empty handed. and i think integration of women into combat forces and various other things it's been a pretty steady evolution. ash's focus on reestablishing the connections between the decht of defense and technology innovators especially in silicon valley i think is very important and i think that may be his most lasting legacy. >> connecting in ways that were mutually acceptable and rebuild the bridges of trust. >> our nations are making a choice for a principled and
inclusive future, one as bright and miraculous as the recent past. >> i guess one of the funniest stories i can tell about the secretary is when he was preparing for the seth meyers show. there was a picture of him in speedo briefs that was prominently put outside of his office. >> you posed for that one? >> sure. >> and the first time i saw it, i said what the heck is this? ♪ >> i think secretary carter has done an outstanding job. i think he will be regarded as one of the great secretaries of defense. [ applause ]
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